|Fifty Sentences on Alex Grey
||[May. 8th, 2007|01:28 am]
Fool's Gold: A Dresden Files RPG
You know you love him.|
Alex Grey—White War
Her son could have gone either way, considering his father—Nina breathes a sigh of relief when they tell her her son is mortal, and cuddles the baby close.
At fifteen, Alex succumbed to Chelsea’s assurances that she could make him fly; he did not break his ankle in the fall, but in the fracas that followed.
Most people were too scared of Karrin Murphy to chide her when she did wrong. Alex was invaluable precisely because he refused to let his misgivings go away.
Catlike, Alex loathes getting wet; so of course, Chelsea has locked him outside every rainstorm since he can remember.
“Third degree burns just get you a trip to the healers and an ocean of painkillers,” Alex says, from experience. “It’s the squished internal organs that’s the real problem.”
Some people live in the future, and some in the past, but Alex has always lived his life in present tense.
The air is taut and electric, shivering across his skin; something’s about to happen.
“Why, Karrin?” Alex grits out through clenched teeth, “goddamnit, why?”; she keeps her back to him and will not answer.
Alex spends the winter pitching snowballs at various kids and building snowmen for Thor to behead.
Alex fell so smoothly and quietly that he didn’t even notice he was in love until he hit the ground, looked up at Conchita, and wanted to kiss her and never stop.
“Where the hell are they all coming from?” Chelsea yelps, triggering the gate; “Storm of Fire!” Alex quips, diving through it.
After what happened to Loren, Alex hates closing the door to the cellblock at night; he never knows anymore what might happen.
Part of the reason Alex loves explosions so much is the flash of bright light right before the bang; sometimes, he thinks, he can see to the end of the universe in that light.
A slow fuse for this one, designed to set the bomb off when he’s well out of range, which means he turns around and there’s a Firewoman waiting there. Of course.
Back when he was still rooming with Harry, Alex saw a little box with several blonde hairs tied with red ribbon enshrined within; now, as they all wait for Karrin to wake up, he’s seen that box again. This time, though, it’s empty.
It crystallizes one day when Alex is sixteen; the Wardens had found a town full of free mortals, and there was nothing left, not a thing, even the kids were dead. From that moment on, it was black and white.
Three-year-old Alex stumbles into his mother after what he imagines to be hours wandering, waiting to die (thirty-year-old Alex stumbles into Conchita after what he imagines to be years wandering, waiting to be found) and comes home.
He sat with Concepción Sanchez for hours after she woke up, just talking, and never noticed how the time went by.
“They call us the villains of the piece,” Alex says (he gets rather Shakespearian when he’s drunk), “but did they ever stop to consider that villain used to mean a serf? Someone left behind the door when the goods were handed out; well, now we’re taking what’s ours.”
He was nineteen and she was twenty and they were assigned to a long-term mission; those long summer days walking down the road together were some of the best days of his life.
Alex never thought his new sister had any feelings at all until the night he caught her sobbing, and never found out why.
He set the flashbang on what he thought was a slow fuse; three weeks later, when he can see again, he grins and says, “Guess it worked!”
“Promise me,” Chelsea said once, urgently, “promise me you won’t let them catch me;” Alex promised, and couldn’t bring himself to ask why.
Chelsea asked him once, dusting herself off after being a swan for a bit, if he’d ever wanted to fly again. “No,” Alex replied, “scared of heights now. Biscuit?”
He threw up after, the first time he shot someone.
War makes you do things you don’t enjoy, things you never even believed were possible for you to do; things like order someone raped, things like hating your closest friends.
He bought a piece of land (free and legal, purchased properly with all the papers in order) after the war ended, and built a house, on the off-chance Conchita would say yes.
Alex stands with Karrin and watches the skinny dark-haired girl (they’re all skinny these days, never enough to eat) edge her way in through the defenses, her eyes wary, and knows something is beginning.
Alex, heartily drunk, examines his most recent statement, and says, swaying a bit, “That was either inexpressibly profound, so profound it would take a lifetime to understand, or a load of codswallop.”
“Codswallop,” his adoptive sisters say, in unison, and pour another round.
It seemed like about three days before Harry kicked him out of the room; in reality, it was probably about two weeks.
He asked once about the identity of his father; the look on his mother’s face persuaded him not to ask again.
“ALEX GREY!” his mother bellows, marching across the grass: “That wasn’t me!” Alex yelps, running away from the firecracker-filled bonfire Chelsea set up.
He nursed a bruise on his jaw and glared at Chelsea for weeks; she couldn’t help snickering every time she saw him. She hadn’t meant to hit him with her wing, but it had been entertaining.
He’s perfected the stage patter, and a damned good thing, he thinks, sweating; he only barely convinced those Wardens.
Karrin used to make fun of Alex’s slight-of-hand hobby, before his fast hands and faster mind saved dozens of lives.
“Pick a shell,” Alex announced, “any shell, try and find the button, come on, take your chances!”
The Arx stopped being home about mid-war, when more dead came back than living, and the kids started looking afraid.
Alex lectures Liam on the dangers of explosives and reflects on the lectures his mother gave him; as he recalls, it never worked then either.
They leave the kids with Angelo and go stargazing, just the two of them; Alex wraps his arms around his wife and knows that these days are numbered.
Gabrielle liked closets and close spaces; Alex learned this when he found her asleep in his after a storm.
He slept with Karrin, yeah, but it didn’t take him long to see that what she had with Harry was a lot more real.
“Dear lady, fairest of them all, lovely and perfect,” Alex intones, and ducks Emilie’s exasperated swing, grinning irrepressibly; after all, every woman is a lady and every lady is beautiful, even (especially?) the not-so-lovely ones; that’s just how chivalry goes.
Alex wriggles out of his bonds like a greased eel and starts working on Bone’s, swearing under his breath all the while; why is it so much harder to undo knots when he can see them?
The kids tend to gravitate towards Alex, always indulgent and entertaining, but it gets wearing, having to be happy for them all the time.
Alex sits in what’s become his chair and shuffles cards from one hand to another without even looking at them; he’s gotten so used to the sound that not even the soft shuff of the cards penetrates his concentration anymore.
Alex and Harry Dresden get along almost immediately; they both exasperate Karrin Murphy, they both tend towards idealistic chivalry, and they both carry tokens from their chosen ladies next to their hearts.
He’s never been handsome, or even cute (the best Chelsea could manage was “attractively unattractive”), but he rather thinks he’s a better person for it.
“You have got to be kidding,” Alex hisses at Chelsea, shaking the bright pink and purple...thing...at her (bells rattle all up and down it, she’s really gone off her rocker). “Bait or not, I can be plenty conspiciuous without this!”
Alex is a fun drunk, philosophical and rarely weepy; in fact, enough alcohol and he gets profound enough to understand the Buddha.
“Always wanted to be domestic,” he says, cheerfully, and tickles ‘Chita’s nose with the duster.